On April 11, The Appeal ran an article focusing on laws that land people with HIV in prison and on the sex offender registry, examining the far-reaching harms of HIV criminal laws in general. CHLP Executive Director Catherine Hanssens spoke with The Appeal about how criminalizing consensual sexual contact is a “pointless, dangerous and stigmatizing response” to a public health issue, and how reform efforts must end the “irrational and unconscionable” use of sex offender registries.
CHLP joined 40+ LGBTQ and allied organizations in a letter to House and Senate Appropriations Committee members expressing strong support for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) against a Trump administration move to remove all funding for LSC from the 2020 budget. For the third year in a row, the president's proposed budget eliminates all requested funding for LSC, which serves nearly 2 million low-income people by providing critical legal representation each year.
An ad hoc coalition of New York medical, legal and grassroots HIV organizations and individuals alerted Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried and others about serious problems with a proposal to eliminate effective notice and consent prior to HIV testing of individuals.
On March 12, Filter Magazine ran an article on the efforts to change the HIV criminal laws in Florida. CHLP Staff Attorney Jada Hicks spoke with Filter about how the Florida law does have some positive reforms but does not decriminalize those most affected by not addressing existing sentencing enhancements that are leveled against sex workers who are HIV positive. Filter magazine is a news site that focuses on "rational and compassionate approaches to drug use, drug policy and human rights."
At the State of the Union address on Tuesday, February 6, the President proposed ending the HIV epidemic by 2030.
“In recent years we have made remarkable progress in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Scientific breakthroughs have brought a once-distant dream within reach. My budget will ask Democrats and Republicans to make the needed commitment to eliminate the HIV epidemic in the United States within 10 years. We have made incredible strides. Incredible. Together, we will defeat AIDS in America…and beyond."